The flow and distribution of Newtonian, polymeric and colloid suspension fluids at low Reynolds numbers in bifurcations has importance in a wide range of disciplines, including microvascular physiology and microfluidic devices. A bifurcation consisting of circular capillaries laser etched into a hard polymer with inlet diameter 2.50 ± 0.01 mm, bifurcating to a small diameter outlet of 0.76 ± 0.01 mm and a large diameter outlet of 1.25 ± 0.01 mm is examined. Four distinct fluids (water, 0.25%wt xanthan gum, 8 and 22%vol hard-sphere colloidal suspensions) are flowed at flow rates from 10 to 30 ml/h corresponding to Reynolds numbers based on the entry flow from 0.001 to 8. PGSE NMR techniques are applied to obtain dynamic images of the fluids inside the bifurcation with spatial resolution of 59 × 59 μm/pixel in plane over a 200-μm-thick slice. Velocity in all three spatial directions is examined to determine the impact of secondary flows and characterize the transport in the bifurcation. The velocity data provide direct measurement of the volumetric distribution of the flow between the two channels as a function of flow rate. Water and the 8% colloidal suspension show a constant distribution with increasing flow rate, the xanthan gum shows an increase in fluid going into the larger outlet with higher flow rate, and the 22% colloidal suspension shows a decrease in fluid entering the larger channel with higher flow rate. For the colloidal particle flow, the distribution of colloid particles down the capillary is determined by examining the spectrally resolved propagator for the oil inside the core–shell particles in a direction perpendicular to the axial flow. Using dynamic magnetic resonance microscopy, the potential for using magnetic resonance for “particle counting” in a microscale bifurcation is thus demonstrated.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 21, 2010
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